Posts Tagged ‘Optimism’

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“SEEING BEYOND TOMORROW’S GLOOM” – Feb 22

February 22, 2014

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

Nick Kenrick .. GO Canada GO / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The future looms before every person.  The length and breadth of these tomorrows are generally assumed greater than their actual duration and are often casually dismissed.  However, every breath taken is an act of exploration into a realm never before experienced.  The mystery of tomorrow forces us all into the uncertain adventure of living life.

In my optimism of youth, I relished this adventure.  The future was a land of opportunity and freedom.  Without responsibilities and obligations, I raced around the blind corners of tomorrow, crashed through decisions without apprehension, confident that the future was a gift that waited to be opened.

Scott Hudson * / Foter / CC BY

Years have been spent on this adventure of tomorrow and my optimism for youth has waned.  Explorations into the temporal mysteries has proven that all that lay ahead is not the pleasant gift I once assumed.  The unabashed plunge to see beyond the bright horizon has been slowed by the dim of experience.  Hard knocks and expensive lessons weigh down optimism.  Disappointment and torn relationships sap the spirit of adventure.  Unfulfilled expectations and suffering erode confidence into trepidation.

The filter of experience reveals the future as a dark, dense forest where even a breeze becomes lost.  Experience teaches that the adventure of life is a long walk through an imposing, meandering wilderness of darkness broken only by sporadic patches of light.  It is a place where dreams are swallowed and a sanguine disposition gasps for air.

Mirkwood!

Mirkwood! (Photo credit: eckenheimer)

Hope is lost when informed only by the rhetoric of experience.

Experience knows that the satisfaction sought in the land of tomorrow never can be sustained in the present.

Experience knows that happiness and contentment can be stolen by a telephone call.

Experience knows that esteem can slip away in a wave of miscalculation.

Experience knows the eternity within man’s heart will  eventually be swallowed by failing flesh.

Daunted courage is all that can come from a mind informed only by experience.  Hard earned wisdom will inevitably restrain the will into steps of caution through a future of unseen but anticipated difficulties.  The optimism of youth cannot withstand the honest revelation of experience when its hopes are placed within the finite horizon.  The finite future is a dark land of trials and tribulations that no amount of optimism can overcome.

Experience can only be rebutted by a hope that resides beyond the finite horizon in the infinite. 

Undaunted courage to walk through the difficult mysteries of tomorrow arises from the hope in the land that is promised but yet unseen.  Optimism is sustained through finite disappointments of today only when informed of an infinite hope that cannot be taken.

Art4TheGlryOfGod / Foter / CC BY-ND

Hope abounds only within the completed work
of the Overcomer of this world, Jesus Christ.

The power of positive thinking is a foolish hoax of the deceived.  There is no power in the optimism for a finite world.  Experience has taught me that hope is lost in the finite but the Spirit sings to me of the everlasting joy in the infinite.

Therefore, I reclaim my youthful optimism by setting my eyes beyond the finite horizon to a promised land at the feet of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Overcomer this world.  I can joyfully race around the blind corners of tomorrow, crash through decisions without apprehension, and confidently stride toward the gift of eternal life while I endure all things because I eagerly await my adoption as son, the redemption of my body (Romans 8:23).

That is the power of an optimistic life that leads to peace.
True, unfailing power comes only in thinking that is set upon the positive redeeming work of Christ.

PRAYER: Lord, give courage to my soul to face tomorrow.  I take all my fears and failures that experience beats down upon me and cast them before you.  I renounce my pessimism that years have hard won.  I reclaim the optimism of my youth, transformed by your grace.  Spirit, speak to my worn soul of the joys that await.  Revive my vigor for a life lived in the conquering power of my great Redeemer.  Thank you for giving me the gift of eternal life.  Help me to set my eyes upon your promises beyond the finite horizon that I am drawn to.  Draw me deeper into you … Draw me to the infinite.  I praise you O Lord (Take Heart).  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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MOTIVATED FOR WHAT? – Dec. 11th

December 11, 2012

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” Mark 8:36

I read this quote, ascribed to Dr. Robert H. Schuller:

“The only place where a dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.”

I about gagged on this giant lard of wishful thinking nonsense.  It is just not true.

American IdolI sing horribly flat.  It is an impossible dream for me to be the next American Idol.  My thinking is not what is limiting my vocal career.

However, there is a deeper attitude in this type of positive-thinking plea that troubles me.

Just think about what the motivational speaker is selling.

If you just achieve your goal then you will be fulfilled and happy.

There is a premise built into messages that our happiness is limited by unfulfilled dreams. The gospel preached by motivational speakers is that the highest aspiration to achieve is the attainment of your dreams – being all that you can be.

That is a horrible thing to encourage.   It is not true.  My happiness is not limited by the fact that I have not achieved all my dreams – that I have not lived up to my potential. In Christ, I can be joyful in all circumstances.  That truth makes “being the best me” as the fountain of happiness an unworthy dream.

It is a false gospel.

 Motivation is a tool; not a destination. The most important aspect of motivation is that it propels us in a direction. Being very motivated to pursue a dream straight to hell is a horrible thing. The destination is what matters.  What your dreams are is what matters; not how you obtain them.

What if you obtain all of your dreams but you forfeit your life?

Motivational speakers should encourage us toward the right dreams.  We should be more concerned with what our dreams are then on how to obtain them.  All dreams are not created equally. We can waste our lives chasing the chaff of worthless dreams.

This is what our dreams should include:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34

If your dreams do not include being a worthy and faithful servant then beware of what you are motivated to gain.

PRAYER: Lord, You are the only one that I should be motivated to pursue. Forgive me for chasing unworthy dreams. Forgive me for over-valuing myself and my dreams in comparison to your surpassing worth. Father, change my heart so that my dreams are worthy of the calling that you have given me. Create in me a pure heart that can see this world for what it is and desire you more than anything else.    Amen

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